‘Rosaline’ assessment: ‘Romeo and Juliet’ will get a rewrite with Kaitlyn Dever as a star-crossed cousin

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Tapping into the dual markets of A) lovers of rom-coms and B) recovering English majors, “Rosaline” promotes a fleetingly talked about “Romeo and Juliet” character entrance and heart, then builds a really intelligent and breezy film round her. The result’s a welcome starring showcase for Kaitlyn Dever extra more likely to prosper within the hamlet of Hulu than it will have fared within the province of theaters.

For these a bit of rusty on their Shakespeare, Romeo had truly been pining for Juliet’s cousin earlier than they met and set in movement that complete star-crossed lovers factor. Here, we discover the disarmingly fashionable Rosaline (Dever) sneaking round with Romeo (Kyle Allen), whereas her annoyed father (Bradley Whitford) is attempting to rearrange a wedding for her, which she steadfastly resists in a fashion that resembles one other new interval streaming movie, Amazon’s “Catherine Called Birdy.”

After blind dates with a collection of previous males and losers, Rosaline will get launched to a dashing determine in Dario (Sean Teale), however in basic rom-com style she immediately dislikes him, principally as a result of he’s not the man she ostensibly desires.

When their get-together prevents her from attending a celebration, the feckless Romeo falls for the visiting Juliet (Isabela Merced). Wounded, Rosaline begins scheming about how she would possibly win him again whereas pretending to be useful to her wide-eyed and smitten cousin, encouraging her to “play the sphere” and “pattern on the buffet of life.”

Directed by Karen Maine, the screenplay by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (“500 Days of Summer”) took Rebecca Serle’s 2013 novel, which contemporized Rosaline’s story, and put it again in Shakespearean instances. Beyond the shift to Rosaline’s perspective that may clarify why the film feels so up to date, making shrewd use of numerous in style songs to set the temper and set up the cheeky tone, whether or not that’s “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” or “I Love It.”

Playing round with Shakespeare generally, and “Romeo and Juliet” specifically, is a well-worn tactic by now, together with the short-lived ABC collection “Still Star-Crossed.” Still, the true basis lies in casting Dever (who has been good in a complete lot of issues, together with “Booksmart,” “Dopesick” and “Unbelievable”) as a totally fashionable protagonist, and Teale’s Dario because the type of fellow who would possibly immediate her to rethink this complete Romeo infatuation.

There are different nifty touches labored into the movie (an homage to “The Graduate,” for instance), in addition to sensible casting that permits Minnie Driver to position an irreverent stamp on the often thankless position of the Nurse (now a registered nurse). Plus, the pacing strikes briskly in a approach that fortunately doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Hulu has grow to be what appears like a haven for midscale motion pictures that mother or father Disney doesn’t actually know find out how to deal with, together with a latest pair of female-lead motion autos, “The Princess” and “Prey,” the latter representing the most recent installment within the “Predator” franchise.

Granted, the direct-to-streaming route seems to restrict the alternatives and rewards for this form of fare; nonetheless, given the alternatives that one thing like “Rosaline” faces, ‘tis higher to see their mild emanating from yonder TV than by no means to have them made in any respect.

“Rosaline” premieres October 14 on Hulu within the US, Star+ in Latin America and Disney+ in different territories.

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